By: José Niño

North Carolinians still must put up with an antiquated gun control law after Gov. Roy Cooper vetoed House Bill 398 (the “Pistol Purchase Permit Repeal”) this week.

Currently, lawful North Carolinians must get approval from their county sheriff to buy a handgun.

This regulation has been in effect since 1919. Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms noted that this regulation was used “as a way to keep those deemed ‘unsuitable’ by sheriffs from legally acquiring a pistol.”

If we analyze the historical context of the passage of this permitting law, we quickly understand that it was passed during the Jim Crow era, when Southern states had laws that specifically discriminated against blacks. Famous Civil Rights era activists like Martin Luther King, Jr. were denied a concealed carry permit because of the discriminatory nature of gun control during the Jim Crow era.

Edwards contends that, “[T]here’s evidence that the law is keeping a disproportionate number of black residents from their Second Amendment rights, with one researcher publishing a report earlier this year that found black applicants for a pistol purchase permit in Wake County are almost three times as likely to be denied a PPP compared to white applicants.”

Regardless, Cooper opted to maintain the law despite its racist origins, and the North Carolina Sheriffs Association’s support for the repeal of said legislation.

Although Jim Crow is no longer in effect in the South, modern-day gun control still has a way of hurting the black community. Many lawful blacks live in dangerous communities that are characterized by gang violence and other criminal activity. Unfortunately, leadership in these areas tends to be of the anti-gun Democrat stripe. So many lawful blacks are disarmed and fall victim to violent criminals.

Democrats have no standing to lecture Republicans about racism when their policies have a negative impact on the lives of the minority constituents they supposedly champion. Pro-gun candidates should ignore accusations of “racism” and stress how relaxed gun control measures benefits Americans of all backgrounds.

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.